Thursday, June 19, 2008

Liberator pistol, a sad case of historical destruction

Friends, my experience shows it almost always pays to scout around a bit. See what’s out there, keep your eyes open, and investigate your surroundings.

That is what happened this morning. I did an internet search for local gun shops, picked a few that looked interesting, and took a drive to see who was open. Now, for super secret squirrel reasons I won’t go into my location… but if you absolutely must know then E-mail me.

One waypoint on this morning’s journey turned up a neat little small town gun shop, with a knowledgeable and friendly proprietor. Amongst his fairly decent mil-surp inventory, tucked away in a display case used for ‘display’ vs. sales, was this bit of history; A FP-45 Liberator Pistol.

Built by the GM Guidelamp Company during WWII, these pistols have a well know history. The plan was to saturate German occupied territory with many thousands of these cheap little gems, hoping to get at least some into the hands of partisans and resistance fighters. Inaccurate, difficult to load, usable only as a single shot short range pistol, their purpose was simple. The resistance fighter would hide the powerful little pistol in his pocket, walk up to a German soldier, then shoot him and steal his weapons.

It was also part of the plan for the general morale of German troops to drop, knowing sudden death was at hand from any passerby. Disarmed occupied populations were to be given the means to resist, to the detriment of the occupying forces.

The plan, like many of the odder war time ideas, never really came to fruition. Most of the liberators were never delivered to war zones, staying instead packed away in boxes, unused. After the war most were destroyed, leaving only a few examples as war time historical relics, an important part of our nation’s history.

Now, to the story behind this particular piece….

Gentle reader, you may wish to stop now, and spare yourself the agony to follow…..
Somewhere there is a special level in hell designated for whoever ordered this destruction of history.

At some point in the past, several things were discovered at the Guidelamp factory where the liberator pistols were made. Found were a case of M-3 grease guns (fully automatic machine pistols) and a case of unopened Liberator pistols.

The M-3 grease guns went to a local police department, where they mysteriously vanished. The Liberators met a far worse fate. There were ordered destroyed by the ATF, as they had no serial numbers. Also discovered were the original stamping tools to make the pistols, and these were ordered destroyed as well since the company was not licensed to make firearms.

The pristine pieces of US military history were crushed, and then melted down.
This particular liberator pistol was waylaid between crusher and furnace, and found its way to the display case where I discovered it this morning.


Weetabix said...

That's just evil. Couldn't they have ordered the liberators electro-pencil serialized? That would have been better than destroying them.

I have to admit, I don't collect; I accumulate guns to shoot. So liberators are of only intellectual interest to me. But, damn.

And we know where the grease guns went.

freddyboomboom said...

You sure know how to make a grown man cry.

Xavier said...



Anonymous said...

Great miniature flare gun, which was the only use they were ever really well suited for. Every camper should have one. It would be great to see them produced in stainless steel, or stainless/titanium. They would certainly save the lives of those lost in the woods, and perhaps in a self-defense situation as well, since they can fire a .45 ACP cartridge in a pinch, although inaccurately. The inaccuracy wouldn't be a huge issue since most DGU's do not involve a shot fired.
Let it be put back into production and let the American people decide for themselves if they want a lightweight, flare, bullet or snake shot pistol, instead of continuing to let our cockamamie, Marxist tyrants ban it.

closed said...

That was a completely unlawful order. If it ever ended up in court, the BATF would backtrack, and claim it was a request.

This is what happens when ignorant people ask the BATFE for advice. They get lied to. Betcha none of these lies were ever put to paper.

There are a LOT of pre-1968 firearms out there without serial numbers. Accepted procedure was to stamp a serial number on it before entering it into your bound book.

And ownership of firearm making tools is not inside the BATFE's baliwick either. You don't need a license to own a lathe.

Anonymous said...

If the story is true,the tooling was government property used under contract, unfortunately,they could do with it what they wanted. The same goes for the guns.
Liberators can still be found on the market today and bring a price of $500.00 and up, depending on condition and any original accessories that are included in the sale.
I got mine from a vet who was in the Phillipines in the post WWII period. He told me they were plentiful since they were dropped behind the Japanese lines during the war.

Anonymous said...

I just read this article yesterday, then that afternoon I went to the range for some sighting in, I met a friendly guy there and we were talking. He asked me if I'd even heard of the Liberator pistol, he then said he used to work at the plant where they were made and then told me he was there when those pistols and the Greasers were found...and he watched them being weird is that????

Anonymous said...

"The resistance fighter would hide the powerful little pistol in his pocket, walk up to a German soldier, then shoot him and steal his weapons."

You can see why a pistol designed to liberate a country being oppressed by fascists would make the BATF a little bit nervous, can't you?


Anonymous said...

No, I can't see why the BATF is nervous - - - unless it is being run or controlled by a bunch of Marxist, Fascist, Left wing wackos, as it is.